Want to Avoid Pesky Animal-Cruelty Probes? Let the U.S. Government Show You How

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Want to Avoid Pesky Animal-Cruelty Probes? Let the U.S. Government Show You How

By Tracy H. on DiggingThroughTheDirt.Blogspot.com

It's always nice when my tax dollars are used to protect animal-abuse industries.

Image courtesy of ExploreVeg.org
A senior security specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce was the first speaker on Day 2 of the Animal Agriculture Alliance's Stakeholders Summit.

Paul Battaglia spoke about "Improving Security and Deterring Threats to Your Business."

He works for the Office of Security's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. Financial crimes -- exactly what the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act was put into place to deter. Who cares about the treatment of animals? The industry just wants to protect its profits.

To that end, Battaglia gave the audience tips to combat undercover investigations. Since a facility's security system won't prevent undercover probes -- the investigators often are unknowingly hired to work there -- factory farms need to implement other ways to discourage these investigations. For example, owners should employ criminal background checks and credit checks, he said.

Employee handbooks should tell workers that any animal abuse should be reported to management and that the use of recording devices would be deemed criminal trespass. Battaglia encouraged owners to consult a criminal attorney to learn more about trespass, consent, fraud and threats.

He also advised owners to make workers sign non-disclosure agreements.

This advice -- and the eager ears soaking it up -- shows you that factory farmers don't care about animal cruelty. Instead of being outraged by the behavior, they condemn the person who "outed" their facility.

Employee handbooks can say whatever they want. In practice, though, if a worker complains to a manager about animal cruelty, the worker isn't taken seriously. We saw that in "Death on a Factory Farm," where an employee was disgusted by the hanging deaths of pigs. She complained and was ignored, which prompted her to contact the Humane Farming Association. That group hired an undercover investigator who made the abuse public.

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